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This article focuses on physical, socioeconomic, and political changes in the community of Azraq, Jordan. Azraq, a small town in northeastern Jordan, sits atop a large aquifer that has been heavily pumped by the government for several decades in response to an increasing nationwide demand for water. This has led to large-scale transformations in not only the physical landscape surrounding the aquifer, but also in the daily lives, economic statuses, and political opinions of the people living there. My research thus fits the case of Azraq into larger academic discourse on groundwater governance, resource access, and environmentalism. I use a combination of field research I personally conducted in Jordan as well as existing literature to relate the case of Azraq to the theoretical concepts of the tragedy of the commons and postmaterialist environmentalism. I find that Azraq provides new ways of understanding both theories, and provides a significant argument against the post-materialist theory in particular. These findings are important in understanding both the effects of water shortages and groundwater governance on local communities through a number of lenses, as well as the theories of the tragedy of the commons and post-materialist environmentalism in new ways.



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